GUARDIA Civil have arrested two men – one a minor- for targeting children under the age of 14 for knife-point robberies in Murcia
They chose their victims because of their age, looking for their targets in public places where little boys were known to gather in groups.
They would then surprise the children, threatening them with a large knife before stripping them of any valuables, particularly mobile phones.
Police say they are suspected of at least two robberies with violence and intimidation in Torreagüera and San José de la Vega (Murcia).
One of those arrested is a Spanish minor with a long criminal record. For their part, the agents found that the other accused came to Spain from Morocco as an unaccompanied immigrant minor and that in recent years had starred in escapes from the juvenile centres of Arcos de la Frontera (Cadiz) and Alhama de Murcia. He is now an adult, so is no longer sheltered in juvenile centres.
The investigation began on October 20, when two children reported to the Guardia Civil that they had been assaulted at knife point when they were in the Ramblón de Torreagüera, a habitual meeting point for young people in the hamlet.
The robbers took the youngsters’ phones, then, before fleeing, they threatened to hurt them if they told anyone what had had happened. The young age of the victims, under the age of 14, generated social alarm among the neighbours.
A few days later, Guardia Civil investigators found out that a similar event had occurred in the nearby town of San José de la Vega. Two robbers, with their heads covered by hoodies, approached a group of boys. One of them grabbed a boy by the neck of the shirt and put a knife to his victim’s stomach. The other robber then stole the boy’s bum bag.
Police investigations led to the identification of two suspects, residents of the hamlet of Beniajá. They were arrested two days after allegedly committing the robberies. In addition, two mobile phones were returned to the victims.
The minor was placed at the disposal of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and entered a secure juvenile centre. The second detained man, a Moroccan national, was remanded in custody.